Serving a matching drink with dinner is the most effective way to elevate your cooking and turn it from delicious to truly exciting. However, not even the most skilled cooks know for sure which drinks go with which dishes. Of course, a lot of the success of your dinner party or family gathering depends on the preferences of your guests, but with our definitive tips on how to pair alcohol with food you will find out the most classic and popular combinations that are adored all around the world.
Champagne is the traditional celebratory drink and is often served with desserts and fruits, but, in fact, the best possible combination for champagne is a salty dish. The secret here is the saltiness of the food creates an ideal balance with the light, sweet champagne taste. There are almost no limits on what to serve with champagne – it can be grilled chicken, seafood, savory breakfasts and toasts, as well as egg dishes.
White wine is the drink that is traditionally served with fish and seafood, so you can always use this classic combo for your next big dinner. However, your options are not limited by seafood, as white wine also tastes great with pasta, especially if it’s cooked with a creamy, rather than a tomato sauce. For example, the iconic Pasta Carbonara, or simple pasta with mushrooms, will be elevated by a glass of white wine.
Another classic drink and food pairing that everyone has heard about is red wine with beef or lamb. These rich, dense meats work really well with the complex flavor of the red wine. One more excellent red wine pairing is wild game – for instance, venison. And even if you’re cooking an effortless earthy dish, like a meat stew or a casserole, try serving a glass of red wine along with it to take the food to another level.
Beer is among the drinks that can be perfectly enjoyable on their own, but, served with the right kind of food, they taste even better. Darker beers, like stout and porter, are the perfect companion to anything that has been smoked or barbequed. Ribs, chicken wings, sausage, and beef brisket are the most common dishes served with dark beers.
Light beers, like lager and ale, are often served with spicy dishes from foreign cuisines. If you want to take the more traditional route, organize a burger party, where the guests will be treated to a serving of a beef or pork burger, fries with a sauce, and a tall glass of cold, delicious beer. The beer and burger pairing is known as a classic one for a reason, so you can never go wrong with choosing it as the centre of your dinner party.